25th August, 2022
Did you know that businesses who embrace digital tools are 50 percent more likely to grow revenue, eight times more likely to create jobs and seven times more likely to scale?
For accountants, not only are well-digitised systems a key competitive factor, they actually help reduce four days of crunch and analysis to one day, allowing for more time with clients and intuitive storytelling around their numbers.
But only ‘good digitisation’ can truly achieve this.
According to our recent research, three in five businesses across Australia and New Zealand (including accounting practices) are experiencing what we define ‘bad digitisation’.
This is where various software tools don’t properly integrate with each other. Instead of working in unison, they run in silos. Businesses and practices have seemingly accepted that this is ‘just the way things are’ and a ‘normal part of doing business these days’.
MYOB recently hosted a panel at the Australian and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand conference discussing what good digitisation looks like for current and aspiring accountants.
At MYOB we recognise that we, and the software industry at large, need to focus on creating only good digitisation for our customers and partners – where apps work in unison, where the work just happens, and the tech almost goes unnoticed.
During our panel, my colleague shared this example of good digitisation in everyday life. Take your Apple TV. Its integrated apps such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Disney+ allow you to tailor your experience based on what you have previously watched, and they even use your watching history data to suggest content for you across the other applications on Apple TV. That’s deep integration providing a seamless user experience.
For a real-life business example, I quote Loucas Kyriacou of ALK Financial Group, who noted on our panel: “when digitisation works properly and data is accurate and consistent across business systems, things like cost overruns can be spotted quickly, allowing the accountant or business to act or adapt early”.
It is so important accountants have access to a full and accurate picture of clients’ business data to work with them on making informed decisions. If their business tools are not synced, you are likely working with only a partial view of business performance. Their disconnection issue becomes your problem too.
Furthermore, given clients often regard you as a form of business advisor, it is important to be aware of the different tools available to support small business needs, and crucially which integrate properly work with their existing software.
If you’re currently studying to become an accountant, this is especially true for you.
As Kyriacou noted, “having a solid understanding of how to use business software tools can be really powerful” – as if you can demonstrate a solid knowledge of the digital space, and can confidently advise clients on digital adoption, it can be a real drawcard when building your client base.
We know current university students expect good digitisation across the various systems within the university toolkit, and this expectation continues post-graduation.
But understanding how the systems work is key.
At MYOB, we’re mindful of how best to teach the next generation and we’re firm believers in focusing on ‘systems thinking – where you take time to understand the process chain involved and the action behind each digital process, and truly understand how the business software works.
With this approach, students gain the confidence and insight to work across various systems. Meaning regardless of which platform they use at university, or whichever their future employer chooses to use, students are workforce ready on graduation.
We’re committed to helping ensure all current and future accountants can embrace and enjoy good digitisation. We’ve already partnered with over 50 education institutions across the region who use our free online MYOB software in course assignments to provide students with an authentic hands-on learning experience, and we’re building a cohesive business management platform to address the disconnection issues many businesses are facing.
Over the past few years, we’ve invested in several strategic partnerships and acquisitions to provide deep integrations for processes around managing people, cashflow, suppliers, compliance and generating revenue across our software.
To learn more, have a read of our research report The Digital Disconnection Challenge, or if you’re a current accounting student and want to find out more about honing your digital skills, or how to get more out of your learning and discover the tricks to help you and your future clients manage the books, we have great learning resources available for both Australian and New Zealand-based students and practitioners alike.